CCCC Open Letter To Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour

Honourable Patty Hajdu
Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour
House of Commons
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0A6

Dear Minister Hajdu,

The Canadian Council of Christian Charities is concerned about your recent policy change on the Canada Summer Jobs program.  It is troubling on a number of accounts including the fact that it makes a government benefit subject to agreement with government ideology on social policies such as abortion and sexual norms, upon which reasonable people may disagree.

This is a terrible precedent to be setting at a time when Canada is increasingly multicultural and is espousing greater co-operation among the different religious communities in our country.

The policy comes across to us as condescending.  We suspect that it was not meant to be so.  However, we do not appreciate the presuppositions being advanced such as:

–        That organizations who do not accept the government ideology on abortion and sexual ethics are not in keeping with the Charter of Rights or human rights legislation.  This is false.  Religious organizations that are against abortion, and uphold traditional sexual norms are not in violation of any law;

–        That children need to be protected from such organizations that hold these religious views.  This, we must say, is particularly offensive and uncalled for;

–        That such organizations do not respect women’s rights because they hold a pro-life position.  Again this is false.  A pro-life position does not disrespect the rights of women to chose what they do with their body.  As a free country we are permitted different opinions.  Reasonable people can reasonably disagree;

–        That government funding of these organizations is somehow a government endorsement on the religious beliefs of those organizations.  This logic leads to an absurdity.  Government license to operate a nursing home does not mean that government endorses the religious views of the nursing home owner.  Rather, it recognizes the competency of the nursing home to look after those under its care;

–        That the law is settled on matters such as “Charter values.” That is not the case.  There is a huge debate in the legal community as is noted by a recent Ontario Court of Appeal decision;

–        That it is ok to deny religious organizations a public benefit even though they did not violate the Charter or human rights legislation.  This is totally unacceptable in light of the rule of law;

–        That religious “values” is not a Charter value to be considered when it most definitely is.

We cannot but be anxious when government, by making this policy, has unjustly slurred the reputation of the religious community who hold views different from the government.  Such views, they are entitled to hold without government interference.

We kindly request that you revisit this policy in light of our concerns and reinstate the eligibility for the Canada Student Jobs program to all non-profit organizations, including Christian charities who do not hold the same views on social policy as your government.

Sincerely,

Barry W. Bussey, BA, LL.B., MA, LL.M., MPACS
Director, Legal Affairs
Canadian Council of Christian Charities
Advancing Ministry Together
1-43 Howard Ave Elmira ON N3B 2C9 
We received the following reply:
Patty.Hajdu@parl.gc.ca

Hello,

Thank you for contacting the office of MP Patty Hajdu. This message is to acknowledge that we are in receipt of your email and will be in touch shortly. Please note that our first priority is to respond to inquiries from residents of Thunder Bay – Superior North.

To help us address your concerns more quickly, please include within the body of your email your full name, address, telephone number and the best time of day to reach you.

Please note that your message will be forwarded to the Department of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour if it concerns topics pertaining to the Minister`s role regarding Employment, Workforce Development and Labour.

Thank you for your note and your patience as we respond to a large number of messages.

Sincerely,

Patty Hajdu, MP
Thunder Bay – Superior North

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Thoughts on CCCC Open Letter To Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour

  1. Wendy Vandenbroeke

    I was disappointed in the actions of our Government regarding the Canada Summer Jobs and that if not in agreement with the terms and conditions they set out regarding abortion and sexuality that many churches and charities if not in agreement will not qualify for Government sponsored jobs for the summer. I find this discriminatory in itself. I am a tax payer and my taxes fund the Canada Summer Jobs programs. I do not agree with the Government’s actions. Where is freedom of religion or freedom of speech in Canada?

    Reply
  2. Lynette Mullenix

    Standing on the word of God for our country Genesis 1:26-28. Agree with this letter to bring fourth our rights and freedoms.

    Reply
  3. Mike Eeuwes

    First of all I was very disappointed when our Primemister announced he would not allow members of parliament to vote with their conscience on moral issues specifically on abortion on demand for all woman. This one sided approach does not allow my MP to represent their constituents desires nor their own personal convictions. I believe this is medaling with the democratic process. Now this medaling is spilling over into the Canada Summer Jobs program and that is not right. Faith based organizations that are deeply apposed to abortion and have every right to be are being discriminated against and that is wrong and needs to be repealed.

    Reply
  4. Julie veilleux

    I find it concerning that all other religious and cultural perspectives are being pushed onto Christians and we the Christians are now the ones being discriminated against. This is not the CanadIan way!!!!

    Reply
  5. Jeff Groenewald

    Thank you to the 4C’s for advocating wisely and powerfully on behalf of the religious community in Canada, which, in itself, is a subset of Canada. Discrimination against this community, under the guise of protection from discrimination, is on its face self-contradictory. I look forward to hearing more, and participating in the conversation.

    Reply
  6. Elaine Medeiros

    I was disappointed in the actions of our Government regarding the Canada Summer Jobs and that is not in agreement with the terms and conditions they set out regarding abortion and sexuality that many churches and charities if not in agreement will not qualify for Government sponsored jobs for the summer. I find this discriminatory in itself. I am a tax payer and my taxes fund the Canada Summer Jobs programs. I do not agree with the Government’s actions. This is not freedom of religion or freedom of speech in Canada?

    Reply

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